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View Poll Results: How to read series?
Read the entire series from start to finish. 60 38.71%
Read until fed up, read another book, and return. 52 33.55%
Read one book from series, then another, and return. 33 21.29%
Read two or more series at once. 10 6.45%
Voters: 155. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:24 AM   #31
Dopedangel
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I read what ever books are out in a series. Then wait for the next book in a series. Now days a lot of authors are releasing 10-20 book series or even if they are a 3 book series they are part of a universe that keeps on going. I am reaching a point where if just read a new released book from a series I am following I would barely keep us as currently I am following 50 or more series that have not ended yet. And most of the authors release a book a year not counting the short stories.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:41 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Are you sure? I thought only Voyage of the Jerle Shannara and The High Druid trilogies had a story arc spanned over three books. I do own the Word/Void series and the Genesis series, but haven't read them yet, and basically assumed they were separate stories. I could be wrong though. Straken is the last Shannara book I've read, and it was published in... what; 2005, 2006, so I'll take your word for it. I'll see when I get there edit: wikipedia says 2005. So it's been almost 8 years since my last Shannara/Terry Brooks book. That long? Sjees. Time flies.
Word/Void may be an exception to the rule, too. You'll have to forgive me... I still have a difficult time even considering it part of the Shannara series most days. Mainly because I read it before it was a part of Shannara. Brooks never decided to bridge the two series' together until after Word/Void's publication (if author interviews are to be believed, anyway).

But yes... Heritage, Voyage, High Druid, Genesis, Legends, Dark Legacy ... all these "sub"-series are one story simply (and often brutally) split over multiple books. You could probably read any of the sub-series in any order you wanted to (though there would be a few spoilers along the way if an entirely chronological approach was taken by a first-time reader), but jumping into the middle of one of those sub-series might certainly lead to a lot of confusion. Brooks has always maintained that first-time readers should read the books in published order ... chronological is fine for those who may be "revisiting."
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:28 AM   #33
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I answered "read the entire series from start to finish" but that is how I prefer to read them.

The truth is that most of the series I've read over the years were done in the "one book now and another in a year's time or more" because the sequels were simply not published yet. And of course I read other books in between.

I have also read series out of sequence. I would pick up a book that was,say, the second or third book, read it and if I liked it then read the whole series.

This is in fact how I read Pratchett. I remember even now that I started with "Small Gods" and I was hooked. I then read and bought his books in whatever order I could find them and they were perfectly enjoyable and understandable. For me Pratchett's books are not really a series or many series, they are just tales that share characters.

Back on topic, if the series is complete and I have it all then I will read all the books, one after another. This is how I read Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey-Maturin series or Cornwall's Sharpe. If the series is not complete I'll just read what exists (e.g. George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire).
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:06 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dopedangel View Post
I read what ever books are out in a series. Then wait for the next book in a series. Now days a lot of authors are releasing 10-20 book series or even if they are a 3 book series they are part of a universe that keeps on going. I am reaching a point where if just read a new released book from a series I am following I would barely keep us as currently I am following 50 or more series that have not ended yet. And most of the authors release a book a year not counting the short stories.
I find this to be a problem. Some series and universes (mainly Fantasy) are becoming so big that it's hard to keep track of everything, let alone keep track of multiple series. And with regard to, for example, David Eddings, at some point it feels as if one series is the same as the last, except for the setting. Sometimes, some elements or concepts of one series actually appears in another, under a different name, but acting and being exactly the same.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:03 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
I find this to be a problem. Some series and universes (mainly Fantasy) are becoming so big that it's hard to keep track of everything, let alone keep track of multiple series. And with regard to, for example, David Eddings, at some point it feels as if one series is the same as the last, except for the setting. Sometimes, some elements or concepts of one series actually appears in another, under a different name, but acting and being exactly the same.
Fictfact has been a god send for me for following series and marking what I have read what is being released every week etc. I can't remember names but I can't say I have ever mixed up a storyline. Won't recall the author or the book name but will recall the story by the end of the first chapter. I used to reread a few favorite series but now many of them are so big that I hesitate starting to reread as I like to go thru all the books in a go if rereading.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:50 AM   #36
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My best reading experience of 2012 was when I read book one of a tetralogy, got hooked, bought books 2 and 3, and book 4 was released as I was finishing book 3. I felt so lucky that I had discovered the series so late in the game!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:59 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
Good thing you caught me then because that's how I would try to read a series if possible. I know that's how I read the Harry Potter books, with side trips into fan fictions when in between J.K.Rowling's novels.
I know the "read from the beginning" answer was said in jest, but, and this may be worth a poll in itself. Do you tend to read in the order the author wrote/published the books, or in the chronological order of the stories themselves?

There's a few series where fans and in some cases authors have suggested alternative reading orders.

I tend to read in series order if books are numbered, otherwise it's a coin toss over whether I'll find a page that lists a preferred reading order before finding the published date order
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:28 AM   #38
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I almost never read two related books back-to-back. In fact, ideally I'll completely change genre and style with every book.

If I'm enjoying a series I like to savour it, and space it out with other books between installments. It's a rare cliffhanger that will make me go straight into the next volume.

I do still have to buy all volumes in advance, though. That's probably how I ended up with this TBR.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:32 AM   #39
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Every now and then I will read a couple of books in a row from a series, but I usually like interspersing my series reading with other titles. I do tend to read series from book one to the end though without side-trailing. I think I've read all of the Brooks' Shannara series except the last triology that is on book two now in order.

Discworld is the one series I haven't read in published order.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:35 AM   #40
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Once I am immersed in a world, I like to stay immersed. When choosing the next series to start reading, I will favour a series that is complete over one that isn't, but that isn't always a rule. If I have too many unfinished series on the go, I tend to forget the details of the ones that didn't grab me as much and lose interest in finishing them. I currently have about 14 open-ended series that I follow.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:56 AM   #41
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I'm working my way through several different series at the moment. I always read a series in order, but I read other standalone books in between, to give me a bit of variety. Also, I try to vary the genres, so I'll read a crime novel (in the Ngaio Marsh "Inspector Alleyn" series that I'm working through), then perhaps a fantasy novel in the "Rucluse" series, and then maybe a standalone SF before I go back to the next Alleyn book.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:19 AM   #42
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For me it depends on the length of the series and if the series is finished or not. I have no problem reading all the Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings and Harry Dresden Files back to back.

I'm currently reading the Jack Reacher and Harry Bosch series' but I've stopped and am reading other books before getting any more from those 2. I've only completed 5 books in each series so far. I figured I should take a break so I don't get sick of them. I won't even bother re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire until it's completely finished, and if that doesn't happen, oh well.

I try to read a series in publication order since that's usually the way the author intends them to be read.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by DrNefario View Post
I do still have to buy all volumes in advance, though. That's probably how I ended up with this TBR.
Yeah. When a writer is writing something such as a trilogy, I will never buy the books as they are released. I'll wait until the trilogy is finished and buy all three at once (after seeing on the internet that they get good reviews, or I won't buy any of them).
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #44
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I won't even bother re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire until it's completely finished, and if that doesn't happen, oh well.
I've never thought it to be good for a series to go on and on and on. It has happend that authors have died while the last book was a big cliffhanger; the next book(s) would then be written by other authors, but that will never be the same.

I think it best to write trilogies in which the books span one story, or are three stories that are related, but follow up one another, if one wants to keep publishing in a world.

And don't start an quintology when you're 86 years old. Bad idea. I won't buy it for fear that it'll never be finished.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:42 AM   #45
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I have to disagree. I've read some where if you had not read what came before, you don't understand some things. And you spoil others for going back.

Don't listen to anyone who says out of order is OK. It's not.
Yes Jon. We know you're opinion on reading the Discworld books. The problem is that it is just your opinion. Many of us *have* read the books out of order and do just fine.
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